A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
He said: . .
"It was on account of the wearing-out of his body underground. Such prolonged burials shorten a fakir's life. On the other hand, if a man is buried for not more than very short periods, say one to three days, a marvellously invigorating and healing'effect is the result. Centuries ago the Egyptian Dervishes discovered this. In those days they were entrusted with the punishment of certain criminals who were, instead of being sentenced to death, made to undergo long periods of burial after the Dervishes had properly prepared their bodies. The periods varied in length according to the nature of the crime. It was discovered that although this ordeal shortened their lives, on the other hand, they were marvellously cured of their diseases, no matter what kind, whilst they lay buried in the hot sand. My explanation is that such burials provide all the benefits of prolonged rest and of fasting. The fasting cure, so popular nowadays, allows Nature to set to work and heal the body of its maladies. A burial for a couple of days is equivalent to a fast for the same period, with the added benefit of complete repose for every bodily function, a benefit which our overworked organs can alone appreciate. This profound lethargy of a short burial sets potent healing forces at work, thus proving the power of soul over matter and the striking intelligence which rests in our subconscious minds."
"But are there no dangers in being buried alive ?" He spread out his hands with an air of acceptance. "Of course they exist, but, by proper precautions, they can be forestalled. The process used must be carried out with the utmost care, for here we are playing with life and death. There was a young fakir named Said who met his death in this way. He was a most promising young man of eighteen who had unreservedly dedicated himself to the life of a fakir and had been trained in the process of auto-catalepsy you have seen rne practise. He decided one day to undertake the courageous feat of being buried underground for no less than six years. Well, that was done, his body being placed in a special tomb. To exercise some control over toe feat and to help him, some devout Muhammedans opened his tomb once every year during the holy festival of Ramadan, examined the condition of his body and then said prayers over it. During the first two years his body was found in a perfect state of preservation, but at the third opening they discovered, to their dismay, that worms had